Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Cincinnati Bengals

Here are the expansion Cincinnati Bengals - the AFL's 10th and final team. The league started with 8 teams, then the Miami Dolphins were added in 1965. It appears that all these players were selected from the Chiefs, Chargers, or Broncos.

There is no quarterback card for this team, probably because the Bengals didn't select any in the expansion draft. The team used 3 starting QBs in 1968, primarily John Stofa, who played for the Dolphins in 1966-67, and 1969-70.

The Bengals finished 3-11 in their inaugural season, last place in the West Division. They beat the Bills, Broncos, and Dolphins, and scored more points than the Buffalo Bills, who finished 1-12-1, last in the East Division.

#43 Chris Burford - Burford played 8 seasons (1960-67) as the split end for the Dallas Texans/Kansas City Chiefs, and had 4 receptions in Super Bowl I. He retired after the 1967 season, rather than play for the Bengals.

#148 Andre White - The Redskins' 19th-round pick in 1966, White's playing career consisted of 14 games for the Broncos in 1967, and 8 games in 1968 (3 with the Bengals and 5 with the Chargers). He was a tight end.

#200 Ernie Wright - Ernie was the Chargers' starting left offensive tackle from 1960 to 1967, then was the Bengals' starting left tackle from 1968 to 1971. He finished his career back in San Diego in 1972.

#70 - Dick Van Raaphorst - Dick's career consisted of 1964 with the Cowboys, and 1966-1967 with the Chargers. He was also on San Diego's taxi squad in 1965. He did not play for the Bengals.

#96 Sherrill Headrick - Headrick was the Chiefs' starting middle linebacker from 1960 to 1967. (After losing Headrick in the expansion draft, the Chiefs moved 1967 rookie right linebacker Willie Lanier to the middle, and you know the rest.) Headrick only played one season with the Bengals, since 1969 2nd-round pick Bill Bergey took over the position as a rookie.

#18 Frank Buncom - Drafted by the Chargers in 1962, Frank was a backup for 2 seasons before starting at middle linebacker in 1964. He was then the starting right linebacker for the Chargers from 1965-67, and for the Bengals in 1968, his only season in Cincinnati.

#122 Bobby Hunt - Bobby was drafted by the Chiefs (Dallas Texans) in 1962, and was their starting strong safety for 6 seasons. In 1966, he led the AFL with 10 interceptions, and also played in Super Bowl I. He finished his career as the Bengals' strong safety in 1968 and 1969.

#174 Lonnie Wright - Lonnie played safety for the Broncos in 1966 and 1967, but did not play for the Bengals in 1968.  He had already switched to basketball in January, signing with the ABA.


The Bengals limped along to a 3-11 record in their inaugural season, with several journeymen (including John Stofa and Sam Wyche) starting at quarterback. In the 1969 draft, the Bengals selected QB Greg Cook with the 5th overall pick. Cook was a local favorite from the University of Cincinnati. As a senior in 1968, he led the nation in total offense with 3,210 yards, and was 2nd in passing. As a rookie with the Bengals in 1969, he was the AFL's leading passer, while only playing 11 of the 14 games.

Sadly, he suffered a torn rotator cuff in game 3 which was mis-diagnosed. After missing 3 games, he returned to finish the season. After the season, it was discovered that continuing to play did permanent damage to his arm, including torn biceps, which brought an abrupt end to a promising career. It would not be until the arrival of Ken Anderson in 1972 that the Bengals' QB situation would settle down.

Also check out the 1972 Bengals.

Next time: Houston Oilers